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The In-House Buzz: Interview with Richard Bacek of Siemens in the Czech Republic

The In-House Buzz: Interview with Richard Bacek of Siemens in the Czech Republic

Czech Republic
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According to Richard Bacek, General Counsel at Siemens Czechia, there are three significant legislative changes underway in the Czech Republic, specifically in the areas of public procurement, construction, and whistleblowing. Meanwhile, Bacek reports that business in the Czech Republic is still burdened by the dearth of what he calls "reasonable regulation" of the home office concept.

“New public procurement regulation is in parliament at the moment,” Bacek says, explaining that the law will introduce a sustainability criterion into the public procurement process. “It is not generally understood what that criterion really means and how it should be evaluated during the selection process,” he says, and he reports that there are doubts among experts about how it will be implemented in practice.

The new Law on Construction is another significant development. Even though Bacek applauds the new law, which is designed to speed up the construction process, he fears that its short-term effect could be quite the opposite. “The new law might affect our clients by slowing down their ability to complete their construction projects,” he says, noting that every significant legal change causes delays, until the system adapts.

Finally, Bacek reports that the Czech Republic is going to adopt a new Whistleblowing law, which, in his opinion, might present a logistical inconvenience. “Although we understand that the intention is to better protect people claiming that actions by others contravene the law, the current proposal would create an unreasonable administrative burden for companies that are part of groups, including international holdings,” Bacek says. According to him, every company will have to hire a designated officer who will handle potential whistleblowing cases and keep its own whistleblowing processes and systems, instead of sharing the same one within the group.

In terms of the move towards telecommuting (or "home office"), Basek says, there are still many unresolved questions related to the concept. “There are two main questions,” he explains: “The first is how an employer can ensure that the home office complies with all health and safety regulations. The second is of a financial nature – should the employee be compensated for expenses incurred working from home?”

Bacek concludes by pointing out that the legal sector is still learning how to use new technologies and how to apply them in everyday work, while, of course, maintaining positive relationships within teams and helping people grow. “We use every opportunity for education and personal development,” he notes. “To that end, through the effort of the Siemens group globally and the Union of In-house Lawyers in Czechia locally, we participate as much as possible in webinars to keep contacts and to share knowledge and experience.” 

Originally reported by CEE In-House Matters.

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HAVEL & PARTNERS, attorneys-at-law, with offices in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Pilsen, Olomouc, and Ostrava, has a team of 220 lawyers, tax advisors and 500 employees in total, is the largest independent law firm in Central Europe.

Our clients include large international companies, leading Czech and Slovak firms, including strategic state-owned companies and public sector authorities, as well as medium-size businesses, individual entrepreneurs, and investors. We advise approximately 100 of the Fortune 500 companies, and almost 50 of the Czech Top 100 companies. HAVEL & PARTNERS currently provides its services to a total of 2,000 clients. We have the most comprehensive international support available to both Czech and Slovak law firms. We provide legal and tax advice in 12 world languages in more than 90 countries around the globe. Up to 70 % of the transactions we deal with involve an international aspect.

HAVEL & PARTNERS was named the best law firm operating in the Czech Republic by the prestigious British rating agencies Chambers and Partners (2020) and Who’s Who Legal (2018, 2019). It is also the most successful law firm, providing the most comprehensive legal services in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, based on the total number of all nominations and awards in all years of the Law Firm of the Year awards. The firm became the absolute winner of this competition four times in the last six years, receiving the main award Domestic Law Firm of the Year in the Czech Republic (2015, 2017, 2018, 2020) and ranking as one of the most recommended law firms in all categories of law. Our company is also a three-time winner of the Law Firm of the Year award for Best Client Services (2015, 2016, 2019). In the field of M&A, HAVEL & PARTNERS is the best law firm in the Czech Republic based on the annual International Advisory Experts awards (2018, 2019). In Slovakia, it also won the prestigious global M&A Today Awards (2013–2018) for Mergers & Acquisitions six times in a row, and repeatedly won first place in the ranking by Lawyer International Legal 100 (2017, 2018). Prestigious international rating agencies EMIS DealWatch and Mergermarket have ranked HAVEL & PARTNERS among the leading law firms by the number of transactions completed in the entire CEE region since 2009. Based on annual awards of the Acquisition International magazine, HAVEL & PARTNERS has become the Law Firm of the Year 2019 in the M&A category in the CEE region.

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